[TowerTalk] Used Towers

John Kemker john at kemker.org
Wed Jan 6 17:44:14 PST 2010

Just before New Year's, I managed to obtain a used 72ft. Heights Tower 
that had been up for 37 years.  Unfortunately, the only recoverable 
items were some of the antennas (a Mosley Pro-67A and some unidentified 
VHF/UHF antennas with square booms), a Yaesu G-1000 and an Ameritron 
RCS-8V.  The Pro-67A will need some of the aluminum replaced, but the 
main boom and all of the traps are in excellent condition.  The G-1000 
is in an unknown state, as I do not as of yet have the controller in 
hand, nor have I had a chance to hook it up to my current G-1000 SDX 
controller to verify its operation.  The RCS-8V relay box appears to be 
in excellent condition, as far as the relays go.  The SO-239s could use 
replacement, but a bit of time with a soldering iron and some junk-box 
connectors with teflon insulators (not to mention some of the 
replacements being female N connectors) and it should work out fine, if 
the controller is found.  If not, I should be able to homebrew a decent 
replacement controller for next to nothing.  A 12V power supply and a 5 
position switch and I should be good to go.

The problem lies in the tower itself.  Unfortunately, it appears that 
the tower had been hit by lightning at one point.  The former owner, an 
SK, had not grounded the tower at the base.  As a result, this 37-year 
old tower had the joints fused, the stainless hardware was all 
corroded(!) and fused and otherwise impossible to separate.  As a 
result, the person I had hired to take down the tower ended up cutting 
the tower into 16ft. sections at every other joint.  According to him, 
this is how he had been instructed in the past by professional tower 
companies to take down towers when the joints could not be separated.

My question is this:  Has anyone ever put up a tower that has been taken 
down in this manner and if so, what was done to the joints to make sure 
they were appropriately strong when putting it back up?  If you only 
have comments of "Don't do it!" or similar, please save your breath and 
the bandwidth.  Unless I see some pretty convincing messages on how to 
do it safely, I'll be purchasing a new tower later on this year instead 
of trying to reuse this beast.  (In that case, I'll be taking the 
sections to a scrap yard for recycling and pocketing the money for 
spending on the new tower.)

73 de W5NNH
10X 75371/M&M 117/SMIRK 6185/Six Club 285/TRA 2499/Norcross 228 F&AM

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